J AOAC Int. 2021 Apr 8:qsab049. doi: 10.1093/jaoacint/qsab049. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The SureFast® SARS-CoV-2 PLUS Test is a reverse transcription qPCR (RT-qPCR) assay for the direct, qualitative detection of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) RNA from stainless steel environmental sample swabs.
OBJECTIVE: To validate the SureFast® SARS-CoV-2 PLUS Kit as part of the AOAC Research Institute’s Emergency Response Validation Performance Tested Method SM program.
METHODS: The SureFast® SARS-CoV-2 PLUS Kit was evaluated for specificity using in silico analysis of 15,764 SARS-CoV-2 sequences and 65 exclusivity organisms (both near neighbors and background organisms) using the ThermoBLAST program. The candidate method was evaluated in an unpaired study design for one environmental surface (stainless steel) and compared to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel, Instructions for Use (Revision 4, Effective 6/12/2020).
RESULTS: Results of the in silico analysis demonstrated 99.99% selectivity of the method in being able to detect target sequences of the known CoV-2 genomes and discriminate them from near neighbors. In the matrix study, the candidate method demonstrated statistically significant better recovery of the target analyte than the PCR detection reference method.
CONCLUSIONS: The SureFast® SARS-CoV-2 PLUS Kit is a rapid and accurate method that can be utilized by food producers to detect the causative agent of COVID-19 on stainless steel contact surfaces.
HIGHLIGHTS: SureFast® SARS-CoV-2 PLUS test method is highly specific for primer/probe binding to the E target genome region for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, 99.99% binding specificity using in silico analysis.